In high school, Newton Falls' Destiny Prusky didn't have a specialized coach for her main event in track - the high jump.
Therefore, when she finished fifth in the Division II girls high jump at the state track and field meet in 2011, she didn't have a technique in her run up to the mat.
When she started competing at Lake Erie College the following year, that all changed.
"When I got there my first year, we changed my whole approach, and it didn't go so well at first," Prusky said. "In high school, I just ran to the mat and jumped. Here, this coach, I had certain steps I had to take, and it was really challenging at the beginning.
"It took me a whole year to get it down pat."
When she figured it out, Prusky really took off, eventually becoming the first female track and field athlete for Lake Erie College to qualify for the national meet this season. Prusky traveled to Pueblo, Colo., and competed against 22 other qualifiers for the NCAA Division II national championship in the high jump. She finished in 16th place by jumping over the bar at 1.70 meters (5 feet, 7 inches).
"It felt amazing," Prusky said. "I was really honored to have that whole opportunity and to represent the girls team for the first time at nationals."
While changing her approach proved to be one of the reasons for Prusky's success, her jumps coach, Ryan Rademacher, pointed to her work in the weight room as how he knew that she was primed for a breakout season.
"I think it came in the weight room," Rademacher said. "She started hitting some pretty impressive numbers with her squats and some of her other lifts. That's when I kind of realized that when she transfers all of this new strength onto the track, she's going to be very, very good."
Rademacher and Prusky certainly didn't know that prior to the indoor track season, as Prusky doesn't get much of a chance to do offseason training. The soon-to-be junior also plays on the varsity volleyball team at Lake Erie College.
The 5-foot-10 middle hitter played 45 sets in 21 matches, recording 31 kills, nine digs and 23 total blocks for the Storm as a sophomore. During her freshmen season, she totaled 63 kills, 18 digs, five solo blocks and 27 block assists.
Although most two-or-more-sport athletes try to specialize in one varsity sport once they head to college, Prusky didn't want that.
"Being a three-sport athlete in high school, I'm glad I can keep that up in college," Prusky said. "I think it would be very weird just to do one sport and have that off-time. I wouldn't know what to do with myself.
This doesn't give Prusky a lot of down time for her studies, but the early childhood education major still manages to make Dean's List.
How? She takes her work with her.
"We do a lot of traveling, and most of our traveling is very vigorous with the hours," Prusky said. "So, I take my schoolwork to the track meet. I just study on the bus because there's nothing else to do besides sleep."
In terms of the high jump, Prusky has two more years of eligibility to build off her performance as the first female Storm track athlete at the national meet. Her coach feels like multiple All-American honors are in her future, if Prusky desires it.
"I don't think she'll ever not make the meet again the way she was looking at the end of this past year," Rademacher said. "There's no real limit. I'm not sure how high she can go. It's really going to be up to her."